Following my transformation into a spiritual Pandaren Monk where I quickly trained under the greatest elders of the land, reunited the elements of the lsle, broke a century long silence of its carrier god and joined the ranks of the alliance, a veteran warrior by the name of Tastynoodle was summoned to the great halls of Stormwind Keep. Blades in hand after a well deserved vacation following his own first hand involment with the defeat of the sundering dragon aspect, Deathwing, the iron-clad hero decided against slowly walking through the corridors of the war rooms. Knowing something was astray I hastily charged in with my special edition mount magically delivered to me though the unexplained network of Azerothian mail a few days before.
Being face to face with the king of Stormwind – King Varian Wrynn – was no big deal for one of Azeroth’s great saviors. I had shared many moments on the battlefield alongside the noble leader in the past, and this was hardly any different. We were more akin to kindred spirits and the very reason why I was called upon for the upcoming search.
Following news that contact had been lost with Anduin Wrynn – the son of the king and future heir to the throne – Varian and his advisors expelled their disdain upon the stone walls of the keep. A 20 ship fleet had become 19 during a bout of conflict across the spanning south sea. The world may have been saved from Deathwing through the combined efforts of the usually warring nations of the Horde and Alliance, but that hasn’t stopped the fights for freedom and honor pouring across the stained land. Anduin’s ship – being commandeered by Admiral Taylor - was reportedly deflected during the ocean warfare and crashed into the once hidden land of Pandaria. Tasked with locating the future leader myself – the level 85 Fury Warrior – made haste to the docks of the kingdom.
Dozens of ships littered the biggest maritime port of the Eastern Kingdoms. The usual transport ships that had once sent budding adventures into the cold blizzards of Northrend – warrior included – and brought them back as heroes of the land still made regular trips to the icy wastes. The usual band of tourism ships and commercial vessels all lined the platforms affixed to the posts with thick high-grade rope. But one extra ship was visible; one emblazoned with the memories of it’s sky battles of the past. The pride of the Alliance fleet was slicing the clouds above waiting for its heroes to climb inboard once more – The Skyfire was here.
Receiving a briefing from the vantage point of the ship’s freshly repaired deck the sounds of gunpowder-powered explosions and hurtling dark iron balls quickly filled the atmosphere above. Peering down from the high-ground screamed a sudden doom. The Horde were below.
Quickly hopping into the last available copter – trying carefully not to think too hard on where it’s usual pilot was – I used the skills gained from the battles of the Howling Fjord and the fight against the Horde around the spire of Icecrown Citadel to fire shots with pin-point precision into the hate spewing Orcs down below before being called back to the decks of the colossal airship. The mists ahead cleared. Pandaria was in sight.
Savagery was the first thought that came to mind. Instantly, Orcish warcrys and the sounds of clanging swords could be heared from the trees in the distance. The horde were already here, and they were capturing our own men. Goblin manufactured machines armed with razor shall buzz saws were planted all around the fields. Maybe designed as motorised resource collection servants or maybe built to do the enslaving. My first mission was to finally unsheathe the spoils of war from the past from my back and shut down the Horde’s operations through any non-political means I knew best.
Meeting up with the SI:7 – Stormwind’s elite agents – Rell Nightwind caught glimpse of the warlord behind the operations on the shores of Pandaria’s graceful lands. A single Orc Warlock pulling the strings from the docks. Before I had the chance to sink my blade into his skull with the blood of his troops he managed to teleport away through his own dark arts.
Losing their commander, the remaining horde troops attempted to surrender to our own. Swimming through the waters unarmed toward us, Rinn’s own rage at the sky admiral’s relentless slaughter of the apologetic orcs mixed with the lands ancient powers causing manifested anger to take hold of him until one of the land’s denizens – A Pandaran – whisked them away with his ancient ways. demanding we leave the lands before the wars seen in the eastern kingdoms and Kalimdor would affect react badly with Pandaria’s century old elements.
After a heartfelt conversation with Taran Zhu – Lord of the Shado-Pan – he expressed his deep concerns over the impact war and conflict has on the mysterious land. There’s a reason the Pandaren keep in such good mind every waking moment. Conveying the need to find the MIA slice of royal hierarchy myself and Rell were given the go-ahead to continue our efforts.
Ultimately latching onto intel telling us the whereabouts of the ships commander, we found primate creatures – known as the Hozen – monkeying around their encampment with cages of Alliance prisoners littering the dirt gardens of the Hozen huts. A creature of another unknown race – the Pearlfin – was held captive beside the beaten and unconscious commander. Intent on freeing the POWs, the Pearlfin told of his tribes ongoing war with the Hozen, a fact that quickly warranted the eradication of the camp’s denizens to free the Pearlfin, troops and Prince Andiun’s appointed guard – Admiral Taylor.
After countless killings with my own sword and many sounds of tumbling locks, the prisoners were free and we quickly travelled back – Hozen on tail – to the Pearlfin’s own encampment.
Despite saving one of their own, the bipedal Murloc-esque Pearlfin were hesitant to let us take refuge in their village. Their experiences with ‘outsiders’ are what lead to the loss of their once major empire to the Hozen brutes. Only after arming their people with the salvaged weapons of the crashed Alliance ship and having them partake in their own stand against the big-cheese of the nearby Hozen encampment were we finally honoured as allies of the tribe.
Being referred to Lorewalker Cho – an elder of the Pandaran – was somewhat of a swansong for our efforts with the Pearlfin and Hozen. The wise bear’s strong brew showed me the way to Anduin after cursing my mind with nightmarish visions of Garrosh Hellscream’s intentions for his invasion of the land.
After aiding the people of Blossom Village – a sort of central hub of my surroundings – I made haste to Prince Anduin finding him completely unscathed despite the lengthy journey he had made across the planes. He spoke of how he had not made them completely alone and how another of the peaceful Pandaran had helped him survive. Now, with that very same caurtious bear failing victim to the lands emerging shadow magic we decided to postpone his return to Stormwind and his father to look a little deeper into just what was becoming of the Horde’s selfish campaign.
Mists of Pandaria has raised the level cap from 85 to 90 giving a whole new continent worth of quests for players to reach the new milestone. It’s just a shame the quests are all essentially the same fetch and carry goals only with revised words to match the story-lines of the new events. Though what exactly those are I still have yet to really find out. At the end of the first level as I struck 86 I logged out of the game tired and, more importantly, bored. Working the lengthy questing around a schedule meant it took me the entire week to reach the first level; so to think I’d need another 5 weeks or so to reach 90 and get to the good stuff is somewhat of an ultimatum and leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I don’t really have the motivation to keep on going. I’ve had no hint from the quests as to what events I can look forward to if I carry on.
I’ll attempt another level, but I can’t guarantee I’ll managed. I’ll take a look into the expansion’s pet battle system next – although the fact that I can’t instantly do both throughout my leveling in Pandaria due to severe level differences in budding battle pets and the critters of the new continent, It’s a shame to see such fantastic art design be wasted on a game of dwindling appeal. Blizzard need to either look into an overhaul in the leveling experience, or just scrap it altogether. Everyone knows leveling is just the chore leading up to the good stuff, but I can’t even face the latter to get to the core anymore.